Complement clause

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A complement clause is a clause that is an argument.

  • "In many languages, certain verbs—notably 'see', 'hear', 'know', 'believe', 'like', and often also 'tell' and 'want'—can take a clause, instead of an NP (noun phrase), as a core argument. This is called a complement clause." (Dixon 2006:1)



This usage has its origin in generative grammar of the 1960s (cf. Rosenbaum 1967, who used the term predicate complement.)

Related terms


  • Dixon, R.M.W. 2006. Complement clauses and complementation strategies in typological perspective. In: Dixon, R.M.W. & Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. (eds.) 2006. Complementation: a cross-linguistic typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1-48.
  • Rosenbaum, Peter S. 1967. The grammar of English predicate complement constructions. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Xrakovskij (ed.) 1985. ...

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